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Vuelta a España - Villa Romana La Olmeda - Haro


Live Comments

  1. 0km - CORRECTION: Splits in the peloton meant Froome lost two seconds to Cobo at the finish, so the gap stays 20 second in the GC. Bradley Wiggins lost five seconds to Cobo at the finish, so now trails the Spaniard by 51 seconds in the GC.

  2. 0km - No change in the GC, although Chris Froome is now just 18 seconds down on red jersey Juan Jose Cobo after picking up those two bonus seconds in the second intermediate sprint.

  3. 0km - So, JJ Haedo takes the win ahead of Petacchi and Bennati.

  4. 0km - Real confusion at the end at the final bend, with riders not knowing what way to go on a roundabout - there were no markings at all. Bennati's lead-out man went right, and almost took out Sagan... No one fell in the end, but that could have been nasty.

  5. 0km - Saxo Bank's Juan Jose Haedo takes the win, unchallenged, after that near-miss towards the end!

  6. 0.5km - Sagan almost crashes on the final bend! And that's changed it all...

  7. 1km - HTC and Liquigas make their way forward now.. Petacchi is still there, seven back.

  8. 1.5km - Cancallara and O'Grady lead the charge for Leopard Trek. Bennati or Vigano will eye the win.

  9. 2km - It's all Garmin and Leopard Trek now, as HTC slip back.

  10. 3km - Great move by Froome - De la Fuente did well to thwart his attack and take the six seconds to protect Geox team-mate Cobo's lead, but the Brit still nicked two seconds back.

  11. 4km - Second intermediate sprint results: 1. De le Fuente, 2. Haussler, 3. Froome. So the British rider will gain a bonus second or two over red jersey Cobo...

  12. 5km - This is super fast racing, as the pass the 5km-to-go banner and make a large left-hand bend. The peloton is very stretched out.

  13. 6km - The peloton zooms into the outskirts of Haro. They're on a nice tree-lined avenue. It's HTC all on the front now - working for either Howard or Degenkolb.

  14. 7km - Still waiting for confirmation of the second intermediate sprint results, which came just after Rosendo was reeled in.

  15. 8km - A Cofidis rider tries to break clear - was that Fouchard again? - but it's countered by Garmin.

  16. 9km - Rodriguez has another team-mate - Losada - with him now. He looks in some pain. The Spaniard will complete the stage, but we may not see him continue tomorrow... Here's Joan Horrach too.

  17. 10km - Jesus Rosendo, the last man in the breakaway, is caught - just ahead of the intermediate sprint.

  18. 11km - Rodriguez, winner of two stages, appears to have a problem with his left forearm, which the doctor is examining now. He has no team-mates, although Aliaksandr Kuchynski was involved in the fall and is still to catch him. Here he is, the Belarusian is now with his team leader.

  19. 13km - Rosendo has 32 seconds now over the bunch, somewhat disrupted by that crash. No idea how it happened - presumably a touch of wheels. It doesn't look good for Rodriguez. He got back on his bike quickly, but is now riding hery gingerly.

  20. 15km - CRASH: A pile of riders hit the deck, including green jersey Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). A cvouple of Liquigas riders are down, and a Leopard Trek man too. Saxo Bank's Jorgensen looks to be in considerable pain.

  21. 17km - Rosendo's lead is down to 55 seconds as he powers through the town of Tirgo. He's in full time-trial mode, but it's surely going to be curtains for him soon.

  22. 20km - Rosendo passes under the 20km-to-go banner. We still have the second intermediate sprint before today's finish at Haro. The lead is down to 1:07 as Garmin come to the front for their man Henrich Haussler.

  23. 23km - There are some heated discussions between the leaders between, on one side, Frenchman Fouchard and, on the other, the two Spaniards from Andalucia Caja Granada. And then Rosendo attacks!

  24. 24km - Ag2R are helping out now too - it's a free for all on the front of the bunch.

  25. 28km - The four hour of racing had an average speed of 41.5 km/h today.

  26. 30km - The roads are pretty rough here: not pot-holed, but patchy and bumpy and rippled. The peloton has just entered the region of Rioja. The gap is just 2:15 now.

  27. 32km - Confirmation of the withdrawal of Lampre's Alessandro Spezialetti. The Italian appeared to break his right collarbone in that crash earlier.

  28. 35km - There's a big split in the peloton now thanks to Leopard Trek.

  29. 38km - Now Leopard Trek come to the front - and it's Fabian Cancellara doing all the heavy pace setting. The Swiss powerhouse clearly has a plane to catch... The pace is a hige 70 km/h now! People are being shelled out the back...

  30. 40km - There's hardly a cloud in the sky now as the leaders press on over a flat, arid, barren plain. Fouchard, Caballo and Rosendo are combining well together. The gap is just under five minutes, with Liquigas firmly on the front of the bunch now.

  31. 45km - The three leaders are combining well and still hold three minutes over the bunch. A Saxo Bank rider has come forward to the front of the bunch, to help lead the chase for sprinter JJ Haedo.

  32. 48km - The temperature is up to 26 degrees now. It's a pleasantly hot afternoon in northern Spain. Weather report for Haro

  33. 50km - CRASH: Lampre's Alessandro Spezialetti is standing by the side of the road, whincing in pain and holding his arm gingerly. The 36-year-old Italian must have taken a tumble. His race could be over.

  34. 54km - French national champion Sylvain Chavanel is back with the race doctor. He must have a bee or wasp sting to his face or neck, because the doctor is applying some cream. Meanwhile, Lampre and Liquigas lead the chase, alongside Leopard Trek. They're eyeing wins for Petacchi, Sagan and Bennati. The gap is 4:27.

  35. 55km - On Eurosport TV, David Harmon and Sean Kelly are discussing what David succinctly sums up as the "slow gradual decline of Tom Boonen". Here's the full story for those not in the know... Boonen remains huge doubt for worlds

  36. 60km - It's pretty much a gradual downhill all the way to the finish now - just what the doctor ordered after those grizzly three days in the mountains prior to the rest day.

  37. 65km - The lead is plummeting now: it's dropped below the four-minute mark for the three escapees.

  38. 70km - The race is LIVE NOW on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) and is also available on your PC via the Eurosport Player: click here to subscribe

  39. 75km - The average speed for the third hour of racing today was 40.4 km/h. Here's an update on the Fabian Cancellara story mentioned earlier... Report: Cancellara set to quit Vuelta

  40. 80km - Tom Boonen injury update: the Belgian will not undergo surgery to his left scaphoid but he will have to rest his hand for four days before returning to training. "I am in incredible pain whenever I try to make any sort of movement, I can't hold the bike's handlebar and I can't make any type of movement normally either. I will do everything in my power to try and recover in the speediest possible way, even though it won't be easy considering the Worlds are so soon."

  41. 85km - Result of the first intermediate sprint at Arlanzon: 1. Caballo, 2. Rosendo, 3. Fouchard. The time gap is still seven minutes.

  42. 90km - In the absence of Mark Cavendish, HTC's Leigh Howard could be a threat tonight for the win. The young Australian said his team will decide during the stage whether or not to ride for him or Germany's John Degenkolb. "In stage 12 I led out John and it worked well, but in stage seven it was the reverse. We are honest with each other. Today may be a spring for me and Madrid may be one for him. We'll see."

  43. 95km - Liquigas, Lampre and Geox continue to combine on the front of the bunch to reduce the gap to about seven minutes. We have that first intermediate sprint coming up in about 10km.

  44. 100km - The three leaders pass through the feeding zone with a lead of 7:58 over the peloton.

  45. 105km - More on Fabian Cancellara's decision to quit the race after today's stage: "This Vuelta has been really demanding. Besides the time trial in Salamanca, I was dedicated to help Daniele Bennati in the sprints and Jakob and Maxime, our duo for the GC, in the climbs," Cancellara said in a Leopard-Trek press release. "In order to be fresh in Copenhagen, I need to take some rest now and then pick up training again."

  46. 110km - Of course, there's always Saxo Bank's Juan Jose Haedo for today's sprint... The Argentine has notched a few top tens in this year's race, but has yet to leave his mark. "I have high hopes for today. I survived the mountains and my condition is good. The finish today is much better for me than the previous finishes."

  47. 115km - Alessandro Petacchi could be a threat in Haro - although the Italian veteran is without a win since notching the second stage in the Giro back in May. He was a non-entity in France and has done little to impress in Spain so far. "I've got through the big mountain stages and I'm still really motivated," he said. "Today I am going to try and win. I don't have a lead-out man but my team will work hard before the sprint."

  48. 120km - One rider keen to stop Sagan from netting a hat-trick is Daniele Bennati, who is confident he can deliver the goods for Leopard Trek over the next six days. "I hope I will be stronger than Sagan today," he said before the start. "The finish is well suited to my abilities and I am always better in the last week of a Grand Tour."

  49. 125km - As promised, here's the stat for the second hour of racing: the average speed was 40.4 km/h. The three leaders have moved back over the six-minute mark.

  50. 130km - The average speed for the first hour so the race was 41 km/h. Sorry for that late stat - we'll soon have the speed for the second hour. Meanwhile, the lead continues to drop. Spaniards Jesus Resondo and Antonio Cabello (Andalucia) and Frenchman Julien Fouchard (Cofidis) have 5:25 on the peloton.

  51. 135km - The leaders are approaching two small minor hills. They have six minutes over the 174 riders in the peloton. Rumour has it Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) will retire from the race today to concentrate on ITT training ahead of the world championships.

  52. 140km - If Sagan can get the win today, not only will he have three wins in his debut Grand Tour, he'd also move to the top of the green jersey standings, currently led by Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). Unless Rabobank's Bauke Mollema finishes high as well, which is unlikely... Rodriguez currently has 90 points, with Mollema on 85 and Sagan on 75. The escape trio's gap continues to head south, and is now 6:20.

  53. 145km - Back to the race, and the breakaway has seen their lead slashed to 6:50 after some combined work by Geox, Liquigas and Lampre on the front of the peloton.

  54. 150km - You can also follow Blazin' Saddles on Twitter, where today he is mulling over some other potential super-teams (in the light of the confirmed RadioShack-Leopard Trek merger). How about a spot of SaxoGas or Katushaltel? Follow Blazin' Saddles on Twitter

  55. 155km - Superhuman Juanjo Cobo threw a Spanish cat amongst the British pigeons on Sunday after brushing aside the fearsome Angliru climb as if it were a mere mound. Geox's Cobo roared into the red jersey to complete a magnificent turnaround after he seemingly disappeared from cycling following the demise of his former team Saunier Duval back in 2009. Blazin' Saddles: Cobo' Selecta!

  56. 160km - If this trio fails to hold on till the end, then we're probably looking at a bunch sprint at the famous Rioja wine-making centre of Haro. But with the likes of Cavendish, Kittel and Boonen now gone, the options will be rather sparse. The obvious favourite is Peter Sagan, who could notch a treble on his debut Grand Tour. Daniele Bennati should feature too. Also watch out for Lloyd Mondory, Leigh Howard, John Degenkolb, Alessandro Petacchi, Pablo Lastras, Chris Sutton, Vicente Reynes.

  57. 165km - The Geox team of Juan Jose Cobo are on the front of the peloton, but there's little concern as the lead grows to 8:12. Cobo is clearly the favourite to hold on to the red jersey all the way to Madrid - and he can call on experienced veterans Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre, both Grand Tour winners, to keep him out of trouble.

  58. 168km - The final rider in this group, Julien Fouchard, has had a pretty active race so far, attacking on numerous occasions - usually in tandem with his Cofidis team-mate Luis Angel Mate. The French 25-year-old is riding his debut Vuelta, but not his debut Grand Tour: he raced the 2010 Giro, finishing 119th. In 2009, when still a neo-pro, Fouchard won the Tour de Bretagne, taking stage two along the way.

  59. 170km - Youngster Antonio Caballo is riding his first Vuelta a Espana, aged 21. Only one rider in the race is younger than the Spaniard - Slovakia's Peter Sagan, the double stage winner from Liquigas. This is Caballo's first year as a pro at Andalucia Caja Granada and he has no UCI wins to his name. Team-mate Jesus Rosendo, 29, is riding his fourth Vuelta and in March notched his maiden UCI win, in the minor Rutas de America stage race in Trinidad.

  60. 175km - The gap swells to 7:25 as the three riders combine well. Let's take a closer look at the three escapees...

  61. 178km - Team Sky came in with a lot of criticism for their handling of stage 15. Many believe Froome should have been allowed to ride on in pursuit of Cobo up the Angliru. But if you actually look at the pictures from that climb, at the point when the TV motorbike that was following the chasing group crashed, Froome looked in complete tatters, winding all over the road behind Wiggins. It was already each man to his own - and Cobo was just too strong. Have your say below...

  62. 180km - Today's stage is pretty straight-forward on paper: there are a few slight rises, but no proper categorised climbs. After 120km we have the first intermediate sprint, while the second sprint comes - interestingly - just 10km from the finish in Haro. With things to tight in the GC, the bonus seconds in both the intermediate sprints and at the finish could be key. Although it's likely one of the remaining sprinters will take the win today.

  63. 185km - The three leaders have opened up a gap of 4:35 over the peloton. There's little concern in the bunch: Rosendo is the best-placed rider, but he's a huge two hours 16 minutes down in the GC.

  64. 190km - But Wiggins is not yet willing to admit defeat in the Vuelta despite losing the lead, the Team Sky rider said on Monday. "There are tough stages ahead and the gaps are minimal," Wiggins said. "Once we've had a rest, we'll regroup and there are always opportunities. Chris is only at 20 seconds; he (Cobo) can't think he's just got it in the bag." Wiggins: I can still win this Vuelta

  65. 195km - After his titanic effort on the Angliru, Spain's Juanjo Cobo leapfrogged his British rivals from Team Sky to move into the red jersey. The Geox all-rounder now leads Chris Froome by 20 seconds in the GC, with Bradley Wiggins in third at 46 seconds. Vuelta standings and results

  66. 200km - The three escapees are making light work of today's start and have seen their advantage swiftly grow to more than a minute.

  67. 202km - There's an early attack, once again instigated by the Pro-Continental outfit Andalucia Caja Granada, whose riders Jesus Resondo and Antonio Cabello ping off the front with Cofidis livewire Julien Fouchard.

  68. 203km - The sun is out and the temperature is around 20 degrees at the moment in Palencia. Weather report for Palencia

  69. 204km - They're off! Following a much-needed day of rest, the remaining 177 riders get this final week of the Vuelta underway...

  70. 11:45 - Belgium's Tom Boonen was forced to retire from the race on Sunday with a fractures scaphoid. The QuickStep sprinter had had a torrid race following an earlier injury to his groin and scrotum - and his participation at the world championships is now in doubt. Boonen forced out of Vuelta

  71. 11:40 - On Sunday, Spain's Juan Jose Cobo moved into the race lead of the Vuelta after taking a magnificent solo win atop the fearsome Alto de l'Angliru. The 30-year-old Geox all-rounder won the short but sharp 142-km stage 15 in the Asturias mountains in northern Spain to move 20 seconds clear of Britain's Chris Froome (Team Sky) after overnight race leader Bradley Wiggins suffered on the precipitous slopes of the final deciding climb. Report: Cobo tames the Angliru to take red

  72. 11:35 - Welcome to live coverage of stage 16 of Vuelta a Espana, a 204km ride from Villa Romana La Olmeda to Haro in northern Spain. After the second rest day, it's a largely flat affair today - with a finish ideal for a bunch sprint.